A reader comment on Jay Pasachoff's post last week about Venus transits viewed from other planets had me asking whether transits of other planets were also interesting to astronomers. Jay provided some answers!
Unless you are lucky and healthy enough to live for another 105 years, tomorrow will be your last chance to see a Venus transit from the surface of the Earth. But this need not be the last transit of Venus that you will ever see.
The upcoming rare transit of Venus is one step in a long dance among Earth, Venus and the Sun. Transits of Venus follow a peculiar pattern—two transits 8 years apart, then 105.5 years with no transits, then two transits 8 years apart, then 121.5 years with no transits, for a total cycle of 243 years—and thereby hangs a tale.
This summer should provide great opportunities for stargazers to view planets, meteor showers, the transit of Venus, and for some, the annular solar eclipse. Check out these highlights of what you can look forward to this summer.
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